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A common problem, and misperception, of some recognized employees, is they believe that afterward, rewards must come their way. Or, perhaps they automatically assume that the recognition received, will guarantee a promotion or a raise at their next performance review. Employees think, “You recognized me so where’s my reward?”
Sometimes it’s the managers and supervisors who hold this attitude. If they think employees have this reward expectation, they often hold back from acknowledging their employees’ work and contributions.
We need to stop this idea that giving people praise and recognition sets employees up for expecting more rewards.
Here are ways for dealing with this employee recognition and rewards dilemma. (more…)
Set clear goals with your employees.
Work with your employees to set behavioral and performance-based expectations so you’ll have short-term performance targets to shoot for. Creating goals gives you an automatic gauge to evaluate performance by and to know what to recognize people for. Always tie your recognition to your Mission, Vision, and Values. This is a key way to drive a successful recognition strategy. Remember, that creating short-term goals, which helps focus people on achieving your Mission, Vision, and Values, can make it easier to catch the everyday behaviors which merit spontaneous recognition.
It’s easy to forget that the people we work with do not necessarily need the same amount or type of recognition as the person next to them does.
Recognition is not a cookie cutter formula. How you like to be recognized will not be the same for me, for example. You should make time to find out what each of your colleagues and employees likes, and dislikes, around their desired recognition preference.
Which also begs the question to discover what everyone likes to be recognized for.
Some people have a greater need for validation of their individual worth and their job performance than others do. You will find this is often the case for new and younger employees. The need for recognition will typically reduce as one matures and is longer in a company.
But perhaps you’ve fallen into the default mode of recognizing absolutely everyone whenever they put forth an extra effort or achieve something significant. Were your attempts at giving recognition really valued and appreciated by each individual? (more…)
In reading Khim Kelly’s, Associate Professor of Accounting, from the University of Florida, and her team’s research on The Effects of Tangible Rewards versus Cash Rewards in Consecutive Sales Tournaments: A Field Experiment, I learned some fascinating insights.
It piqued my interest because it was a field study and not one of those in the university lab experiments. The setting was selling rugs in retail stores and incentivizing sales people with either cash or tangible rewards (gift cards from a choice of vendors) for achieving high-performance results over two consecutive sales campaigns, each of three months in length. The study was conducted in a Canadian retail store chain. The Incentive Research Federation has shown that companies are relying more heavily on tangible rewards these days over cash, as a reward vehicle with their various incentive and reward campaigns.
Does one work better than another? That is the question I was curious about. (more…)
You are grateful that your company has these great, online recognition programs, to send important and worthy messages of recognition to people.
Now you can send branded eCards to one another when someone is seen living your corporate values or achieving a strategic priority. You can even send messages of appreciation and recognition via a social newsfeed on your social recognition program. Peers can like these comments about their colleagues and add their own words of commendation and praise. And, your managers, can nominate employees for an award or actually reward them with points for going above and beyond.
That is, as long as employees have an email address, a computer or an electronic device, and can receive notifications from any of the above vehicles of recognition.
But, if many of your employees are offline and have no company email address, and also no electronic device on the job, how do you get frontline supervisors and managers to embrace online recognition programs? (more…)
Choosing the right awards for your various incentive and recognition programs is never an easy task. You want to show employees that their contributions are valued and appreciated. Awards should match your program’s goals and celebrate employee achievements. Today’s employees want more than the traditional award items. Check out the Top 10 Ways to Select the Right Incentive or Recognition Award to help you decide.
1. Clearly spell out your program’s purpose. Is this award for a sales campaign? Are you wanting to get people enlisted in your health and wellness platform? Or is this a prestigious award for the president’s excellence program? Awards must always fit the program purpose and desired performance level.
2. Have employees involved and ask them. Use an employee survey to get the big picture view and employee input. Ask them to prioritize on criteria such as the meaningfulness and perception of various award options. Draw upon focus groups, too, so you can dig deeper. Solicit the why behind each employee idea.
3. Focus on the meaningfulness factor. Employees are very clear on whether an award item is meaningful or not. Always add on to the award presentation. For example, who’s presenting the award? How have you orchestrated the total award celebration experience? What elements can you make even better?
4. Inspire and excite award recipients. Does the incentive or recognition award inspire the recipient to do, and be, better? As you explore award items – whether tangible gifts or symbolic awards – find out how excited employees are to receive them. Evaluate the emotional appeal of the awards you’re thinking about.
5. Provide choice wherever you can. Giving people exciting options to decide from is a great way to create motivation. Whether the awards are a lifestyle item, health and fitness, electronics, outdoor, or experiential items, charitable donations, or gift cards. Think choice! This factor can be especially critical with incentives.
6. Always use quality, name brand products. It can be a real let down when an award gift breaks or stops functioning shortly after receiving it. Stick with brand name items that are top quality. Ensure your award vendor is reputable and has a great exchange and replacement policy. Your award speaks for you.
7. Put symbolic awards on a pedestal. Trophies and medals must be totally representative of your organization. Look at Olympic medals and the Oscars® for what they mean to recipients. Whatever symbolic award the design must be an extension of the company and your brand. They will become a treasured prize.
8. Think outside of the box for novel ideas. No need to stay with the tried and true award selections. Dabble in creativity such as a customized portrait painting from a family photo of a recipient. Provide an opportunity to learn something new from an expert that the employee has mentioned such as painting or in music.
9. Move from tangible to experiential. Corporate volunteer trips to destinations around the world appeal to younger generation employees. They can build schools or set up wells with water access. This is a fully immersive cultural and teambuilding experience that leaves a legacy associated with your company.
10. Choose your own adventure. Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman made famous the idea of doing things before you “kick the bucket”. Have employees choose experiences that bring joy. It could be skydiving, an amazing destination experience like whale watching in Patagonia, or cooking with a chef in Paris.
A version of this post first appeared in Incentive Magazine.
Have you tried to train your people on how to give better recognition and it didn’t work? Were you able to measure the transfer of learning back to the job? What was the business impact of the recognition education delivered? Have employees reported improved recognition?
There are many reasons why educating and training managers and employees on recognition giving can fail. Authors and education experts, Tim Mooney and Robert O. Brinkerhoff, suggest bold actions for achieving business results in their book, Courageous Training. They provide a useful list of eleven possible causes for training failure.
I will unpack each one of these causes and then discuss how it relates specifically to employee recognition training. I want you to overcome the typical problems associated with training people effective recognition skills. (more…)
Lots of companies think their recognition programs are the very best. Many that I have seen are truly pretty amazing and exemplary. A few think of themselves a little better than they really are. But at least they’re trying.
Since judging the best practices nominations submitted to Recognition Professionals International for the past 11-years, I have seen the overview of nearly a hundred or so recognition programs. Based on the criteria that I had a hand in developing, the other judges and I score each nomination, and also provide helpful, written feedback on their programs.
Often, those who submit their nomination the first time receive a best in class award covering a few of the seven best practice standards. They usually act on the judges’ feedback and resubmit the following year. If companies carry out the recommendations that judges suggested they typically raise the bar and can merit earning the best practices overall award.
How good do you think your recognition programs are? If you submitted a best practices award nomination for your company, would you measure up?
Take a look at RPI’s seven best practice standards below and assess where you think you would stack up on a seven or 10 point scale. (more…)
Whenever leaders and owners of organizational recognition programs think about creating a recognition strategy they tend to think solely on their programs. However, for your recognition programs to be most effective, you need to focus first on getting recognition practices right.
Why should you strategize your recognition practices first and not your programs? How does this approach benefit your recognition programs? What are the short-term and long-term outcomes by taking this route?
Let’s take a look at recognition practices more closely and I will answer these questions and give my rationale for going in this direction. (more…)